Island Life
NEXT|December 2018
Island Life

Adventure and relaxation can be found in the idyllic Bay of Islands. And you can have plenty of both on a romantic weekend getaway…

Monique Mckenzie

A romantic and fun holiday destination for couples, the breathtaking Bay of Islands is steeped in history and today beloved for its game fishing, fresh seafood and undeveloped golden beaches. The region, just a three-hour drive from Auckland, encompasses 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula and includes the boutique towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri. With the warmer months soon approaching, my partner Ryan and I decided to check out what the ‘winterless north’ had to offer and enjoy a weekend of delicious dining, action-packed activities and beautiful accommodation. On a sunny Friday afternoon we skip the after-work traffic and depart Auckland for the leisurely drive up to Opua.

Foodie fare

We take the Fullers Great Sights vehicle ferry over to Okiato, or Old Russell, which runs every 10 minutes, and perfectly time our arrival to savour the sunset on the trip over to quaint Russell. We’re told to look out for a pink wall before pulling up at our accommodation for the weekend, the Donkey Bay Inn. The boutique hotel opened at the end of 2017 and commands wide ocean views and a private beach. Our concierge, Matthew, is standing ready to greet us; he’s previously looked after the Queen, Princess Diana and Mick Jagger, so we know we’re in excellent hands.


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December 2018